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His paddle dipped silently into the water. His boat glided through the water as the morning sun cast shadows on the red canoe. The smell of bacon drifted to him from a house upstream and mingled with the scent of the pine trees that dotted the riverbank. It made him long for a home-cooked meal rather than the oatmeal he had ate around five that morning. But even a meal of marinated steak and roasted potatoes wouldn’t get him off the river at that moment. He had to prove himself capable.
He paused to wipe the sweat from his brow. He could feel the heat on his neck from the sunburn he had gotten the previous day, and he knew that it would only become worse today. While it was only eight in the morning, the temperature was nearing 80 degrees and the humidity was on the rise. The only thought that consoled him about the heat was that he was surrounded by water and, if need be, he could cool himself off.
A school of minnows swam past him going the opposite way. Thee water was clear with a stony bottom; it was a great contrast to the murky water he had encountered the day before. He could just make out a deer up the river taking a drink of water, before it slipped back into the trees.
He closed his eyes and stopped paddling for a moment to take a deep breath. A sense of calm washed over him. This was were he belonged, on a river with a paddle in his hand. A smiled crept onto his face; he is content for once in his life. He dipped the paddle back into the water and continued on his way upstream, thinking, if he’s unlucky he’ll reach his destination by nightfall; if he’s lucky, he’ll continue on this river for the rest of his life.

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